Been making and opening…

Believe it or not, I’ve been doing an awful lot of resting and napping, but as long as I don’t spend too much time standing at the ironing board, I can usually get a fair bit of sewing done before I get too tired (though on the days I have to go into outpatients I just come home and collapse!).

Making!

Since I already had this KnipMode wrap blouse prepared as an activity pack, it seemed the ideal candidate to ease myself into my sewing room again. I’m waiting for my wigs to arrive from Hong Kong before I do the photoshoot, but here’s a teaser on Susan…

I realise I’m posting out of order here since I haven’t shown you all the fantastic August issue of KnipMode magzine yet, but let’s just say it’s so fan-tas-tic (terrible Dutch pun, uggggh) that I’ve already drafted this weekend bag pattern and have online shopping lists together to get all the haberdashery bits to complete it. I’m SO excited to try that vilene stuff that turns regular fabric into oilcloth, as my RTW bags just get so filthy so quickly!

And starting the long line of baby gifts (I have something like 5 or 6 friends due in August & September!!) is this baby blanket for our friend’s little baby, Grace. I did the embroidery (from Urban Threads) while I was in hospital, then used a large amount of the turquiose basketweave fabric (which was just screaming to be made into a blanket even before I made my duffle coat!), and finished it off with some red and white bias tape. How is it that no matter how much bias tape you make, you’ll always end up a little short? Or maybe it’s just me?

Next up was an urgent request from James, who’s been waking up with the sun since our bedroom porthole curtains are too thin and too short (while I slumber in ignorance under my sleepmask). So I first got out some cheap and nasty black polyester gabardine I’d been “gifted” and cut that out, pinned it, and was just about to start sewing, when I realised it had turned my hands and fingernails purple!! Ewwww! Just touching my machine left a huge purple splodge that only came off with a bunch of scrubbing with the alcohol gel. Gross. Into the bin that went, never to besmirch my sewing room again. And out came some black cotton twill from my stash, to create a thick blackout layer under the current curtains!

And finally, James built me a small bedside shelf for me to put my water glass on. But because of a nearby radiator, the area is so small and shallow (the finished shelf is 30×18cm) that we couldn’t purchase anything small enough with shelves or drawers. But the wood was rough and unfinished, so I sewed up a quick mat using some very pretty quilting cotton from Paulette’s scraps (err, see below. I’m posting out of order again!).

Opening!

Since I came home from hospital in half the expected time, it means I’ve still got a lot of boredom busters to open, but it also means I’ve got all my tools available at my fingertips to make the most of them, too!

First up is a joint gift from Dawn and Paulette in Alaska! Dawn sent me the Heather Bailey pincushion patterns I’ve been lusting after ever since Stacy went pear crazy a while back, plus a bunch of her scrap fabrics, some green felt for the leaves, and some cute buttons for the tops (omg the tiny ladybug buttons are adorable!). And Paulette sent me a cute rosette pin kit (I’m so seeing this jazzing up my caps) and an utterly adorable elephant stuffie pattern along with an enormous amount of her scrap fabric (some of which already got used in the bedside shelf mat, and again on my first elephant-to-be).

How is it that my own scraps are so dull and boring, yet other people’s scraps are fascinating and fun? I think I must be bored of them by the time the fabrics get to scrap stage!

Moving on to books, my friend Shasha sent me two more of the Cute Stuff books, Baby Stuff, and Cute Dolls, so it’s a good thing I’ve got a kilo of toy filling on order, and a ton of babies to sew for! I know the embroidered bib pattern in particular is going to get a workout here. And it’s a good thing my neighbour Veda‘s away or I’d probably never see these again!

Another really cool book is this Chinese Knotted Jewellery book that Julie sent, along with a huge amount of satin rattail, beads, and charms! I’ve never even heard of this sort of knotted jewellery but I absolutely love the look of it! The book is fantastic, too, with really clear diagrams and, according to Julie, an author that answers questions over email. Faaaabulous! I have a feeling I’ll be doing a lot of these for Christmas presents combined with my new stash of jewellery supplies.

And then yesterday when I was in outpatients, one of the nurses handed me my post that arrived upstairs in the ward after I’d been discharged, and waiting for me was this parcel from Lauriana. Knowing how difficult it is for me to find foldover elastic (FOE) locally, she sent me several meters of black FOE, and some black rubber swimwear elastic, too! I didn’t even know it came in anything other than white! Seeing as how I’m still planning on eventually making a two piece suit with the rest of my black swimsuit lycra, this is just perfect! She also went through the latest issue of KnipMode and pulled out a bunch of terms that would be important for non-Dutch speakers, and translated these into English for me. Honestly, just knowing that “rekbare” is stretchy and “tricot” is knit for fabrics has helped immensely!

But it’s got nothing on the final item in her parcel – she drafted a dress pattern for me!! How cool is that? She stalked the site to see I’m a size 42, took note of my tastes, and incorporated these into the perfect pattern for me! I was utterly gobsmacked, it is exactly what I’d want in a dress pattern, it’s like she read my mind! It’s a sleeveless knit dress with a cowl neck and assymetrical side gathers, which is just SO me!

Only the best fabric will do, too, so lucky for me that I’ve got the perfect Dolce & Gabbana viscose jersey just waiting to be used…

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